Understanding YouTube Analytics - MGR Blog

If you decide to allocate a portion of your digital marketing budget to YouTube advertising, the next logical step is understanding YouTube’s own Analytics console.  By the way, if you’re interested in learning about YouTube’s most recent ad formats (as of January 2020) you may want to take a quick read at the article that I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

YouTube analytics is not much different than Google Analytics or any other major analytics platform that you may already be using.  In a nutshell, it’s just a tool to let you know a vast array of metrics about how each video is performing within your channel.

Through Analytics, you can find out who your viewers are, what their preferences are, where they come from, demographics, how they’re reacting to your videos, and a number of other parameters.  YouTube’s goal is to help you determine what kind of content you should further produce in order for your video marketing efforts to be successful.

Checking out the default setting of the Overview page of your Analytics, you get access to data gathered for the past 28 days, but you have the option to change it to any period from which you want to retrieve analytics.

From the Overview page, you can navigate the top tabs to find all other relevant information.

Overview – A quick snapshot of your channel.  You can easily see your performance over the past 28 days (or any other date range) including daily views, top videos, watch time, subscribers, revenue (if you’re monetizing your channel) as well as a “Real Time” window with live updates on hourly views and views in the past 48 hrs.  If you’re looking for a quick way to view how your channel is doing, the Overview panel allows you to do that in just about 5 minutes or less.

Reach – The second tab at the top is labeled “Reach.”  As the name implies, this section provides more in-depth information about the actual performance of your channel.  You will be able to see charts with daily Impressions, Impressions CTR, Overall Views and Unique Views. At the bottom of the chart, you will also see a small window with a number indicating the number of videos uploaded to your channel each particular day.  This is useful to correlate ‘reach’ with video uploads and understand how many of your subscribers watch your videos soon after you upload them.

In addition, this same panel also display charts for “Traffic Sources,” and “Impressions/Watch Time Funnel,”  The great value of the Traffic Sources data is that it is further divided into four main categories: Source Types, External, Suggested Videos, Playlists, and YouTube Search.  Why is this important?  For example, if you’re creating video marketing content with SEO in mind, you’ll will want to see a lot of Google Search referrals under the “Sources Types” category.  Or if you’re optimizing your videos for higher discover-ability on YouTube, you will want to see higher numbers under the “Suggested Videos” category.  In other words, it’s not a matter of scoring high on each and all category, but rather, scoring high on the categories that best fit your goals.

Engagement – Next to the “Reach” tab, you will find the “Engagement” tab.  This shows you how your audience behaves toward your videos, what kind of engagement each one is generating.  In addition of “Watch Time” in hours per day, you can also see a separate chart for the “Average View Duration.”  Depending on that average length of your videos, you can determine whether your audience is “sticking” around for most of the video or leaving half way through before getting to the end.  Hint: always include your CTA towards the front of the video in addition to the end, otherwise, a lot of viewers will miss it.

Other data included in the “Engagement” category includes Top Videos Watch Time, Top Playlists, Top Videos by End Screen Clicks (if you use that option), Top End Screen Element Types (Video or Subscribe) as well as Top Cards Clicks (if you use that option).

Audience – The “Audience” tab is populated primarily with demographic data such as Gender, Age, Top Countries.  However, you will also see there the percentage of Subscribers vs. Non Subscribers that are watching your videos.  Why is this important?  Again, if you’re posting videos with SEO and content marketing in mind, you will want to see a lot of “Non Subscribers” watching your videos, meaning, your content is being discovered either via Google Search or YouTube Search.  If your goal is to gain new subscribers, you can also see how many of the Non-Subscribers convert to Subscribers after watching your videos.

Revenue – The final tab is the “Revenue” tab.  Obviously, this tab will only include data if you’re monetizing your channel.  If you want to learn how to monetize your channel, click here.  The “Revenue” tab offers a quick view of your top earning videos, revenue sources, monthly estimated revenue, etc.  I’n sure you’ve heard of famous YouTubers making a great living monetizing their channels.  Nothing wrong with that.  But just be aware that YouTube can cancel your account at any time for any reason (which by the way, you will never know) so if you monetize your channel, make sure that you don’t make it your ONLY revenue stream.

You will notice that the number of “Likes” for your videos is not part of Analytics anymore.  To view each video Likes, you will need to head over to the “Videos” menu on the left under the YouTube Studio section and look at the far right column with the “Likes” count.

In sum, Video Marketing is one the most effective ways to promote your products and services throughout a variety of Internet channels today. Clearly, using Analytics and interpreting the information you’ve gotten from it allow you to measure your success on YouTube as well as to strategize on improving your videos’ performance.

YouTube advertising has seen a significant growth in the past 12 months.  Proof of that is the fact that according to Alphabet (parent company of Google) YouTube had $15.15 billion in ad revenue for 2019, up 36% from $11.16 billion the year prior. For Q4 2019, YouTube advertising sales were $4.72 billion, a 31% year-over-year increase. YouTube’s ad revenue was $8.15 billion in 2017.

As always, if you need any assistance with your digital or content marketing, our MGR Team will be happy to chat with you one-on-one.  Use this link to contact us and set up your free consultation.

Thank you for reading.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).